Congratulations to Mitch McConnell and the rest of the conservative Republicans who actively shunned and sneered at Arlen Specter. I'm sure their total lack of support for the 5-term moderate Republican Senator, an ultra-conservative primary challenge, and their public vilification of anyone willing to actually compromise with the Democrats was all part of some grand plan. I'm just not sure what it was. Somehow, I don't think Specter's unexpected switch to the Democratic Party yesterday was quite what they imagined the end result would be.
The surprise announcement by Senator Specter appears to have simultaneously improved his chances for re-election, capped off a solid 100 days in office for President Obama (whose VP, Joe Biden, was instrumental in getting Specter to switch), virtually scuttled Republican hopes for future filibusters provided Al Franken actually gets seated as the junior senator from Minnesota, and sent Republican politicians and commentators into a paroxsym of spin that only an out-of-control merry-go-round could appreciate.
Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, the moderate Republican senators from Maine, must be feeling very lonely right now. Either that or they can ask for and will be granted almost anything by a Republican leadership that sees its relevance tumbling into oblivion.